Tirunelveli: VB Kanchi Veerans’ captain Baba Aparajith and opener Suresh Lokeshwar batted with purpose to overcome a tricky target and Ruby Trichy Warriors to book their playoff spot for the first time in the Tamilnadu Premier League at the Sankar Nagar Ground here Friday.
After restricting RTW to 121-7 in 20 overs, VBKV attained the target in 19.1 overs, scoring 122-3, for a seven-wicket win. It was their fourth win in seven matches and they finished the league phase with eight points. Lyca Kovai Kings (0.255) also finished with the same number of points but VBKV (0.552) earned the fourth Playoff spot because of their higher net run rate.
VBKV will face the third-placed Siechem Madurai Panthers in the Eliminator here on Sunday evening. It was heartbreak for LKK, as they failed to make the Playoffs cut for the first time in four seasons.
Chasing 122 for win, VBKV diminutive opener Suresh Lokeshwar (40 runs, 42 balls, 3 fours) and captain Baba Aparajith (50 not out, 39 balls, 1 four, 4 sixes) batted patiently to keep their rivals at bay. The duo raised 46 runs in 53 balls for the third wicket before Lokeshwar was run out, trying to sneak a run off a misfield but an alert Sai Kishore broke down the stumps at the non-striker’s catching the VBKV wicketkeeper short of his crease.
Aparajith brought out the big shots as well carting four sixes, one each off spinners Kannan Vignesh, Sai Kishore and two off medium-pacer P Saravana Kumar. The 25-year-old hastened the proceedings in the 19th over by hitting two sixes and a four off Saravan Kumar, fetching 18 runs for VBKV.In the end R Sanjay Yadav (10 not out, 12 balls) sealed the win with a single off R Sathyanarayan.
Ruby Trichy Warriors 121-7 in 20 overs (Karunakaran Mukunth 32, Adithya Ganesh 43;
R Suthesh 1-22, R Aushik Srinivas 1-12, Baba Aparajith 1-22) lost to VB Kanchi Veerans 122-3 in 19.1 overs (Suresh Lokeshwar 40, Baba Aparajith 50 not out;
Ravisrinivasan Sai Kishore 1-12) VBKV won by 7 wickets.